We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 1180 Tarawera Road | RD 5 Rotorua, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand
Phone Number:
+64 7-362 8287
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site where stories of...

Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption come to life!

Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption was one of New Zealand's greatest natural disasters burying the peaceful village of Te Wairoa and ending more than 150 lives. Today at the Buried Village encounter the world class Museum of Te Wairoa, explore the Archaeological Site which once housed the people of Te Wairoa, experience the unique insights of stories from our tour guides, and take the Waterfall Trail which showcases the stunning Wairere Falls.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
US$23.78*
and up
Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour
More Info
US$207.81*
and up
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour
More Info
US$160.98*
and up
Shore Excursion: Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Valley and Buried Village from Tauranga

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 745 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 316
    Excellent
  • 263
    Very good
  • 99
    Average
  • 22
    Poor
  • 7
    Terrible
1886 revisited !!

The museum and restored village buildings depicted the catastrophe of the 1886 eruption extremely well. The story line shown throughtout the walk in book form served to highlight... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Ian J
,
Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Add Photo Write a Review

745 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 707: English reviews
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
67 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

As you enter you feel that you are going back to a time that we know little about. The staff are all dressed in period clothes and are friendly and make you feel welcome. Pam McGrath is the 3rd generation of the Smith Family to run the Buried Village. You enter throug the musuem which gives you a compleat history... More 

Helpful?
Thank Robert L
Auckland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We had a lovely day here. (Family) It was very sad and tragic reading about these poor villagers who lost their lives in such a terrifying way. You can really get a feel about how they lived and feel a great respect for them and their village. The care that has been put into rebuilding the site is amazing and... More 

Helpful?
Thank elliwheels
Cornwall, Vermont
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Karen and David have created a very thoughtful and interesting museum dedicated to the 1886 volcanic explosion on Mount Tarawera which destroyed local villages. Our group also had lunch and learned about the resurgence in the Moari language. Great local history.

Helpful?
Thank Peregrine426
Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The museum and restored village buildings depicted the catastrophe of the 1886 eruption extremely well. The story line shown throughtout the walk in book form served to highlight the historical facts.

Helpful?
Thank Ian J
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The Buried Village is a large area with buildings, artifacts and historical information that will interest all ages. Wonderful opportunity to educate the children as it provides actual evidence they can see, feel and touch.

Helpful?
Thank _kmphilpott7
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Just went for the first time - and so glad I did - what a great place. I learnt soooo much. My 8yr old niece had fun finding all the clues from one site to the next. Lots to take in could do this properly over a few days. A bit expensive entry fee $34. But kids are FREE!. I... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ruth G
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

We are pleased to hear that you and your niece enjoyed your visit to the Buried Village and obviously learned a bit about the history of the Tarawera eruption. You are right, there is a lot of information to take in and although we recommend an hour to 1 1/2 hours, many of our visitors spend more time here. Thank... More 

Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Even if you are just passing, call in and have the scones with jam. At only $3.50 a really good price.

Helpful?
Thank Karyn P
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

Thank you for recommending our scones. Devonshire Teas have had a long tradition at Vi's Teahouse. In fact, Violet Smith herself started this tradition back in the 1930's and the scones have been popular ever since. More 

Westchester, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Our tour guide took us here as our last stop on our whirlwind Rotorua day. We were tired but walking here and learning about this settlement and the pink staircases and the eruption was interesting. The waterfall was also very beautiful

Helpful?
Thank skikhouri
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

We are glad you enjoyed learning about the history of this area and walking through our grounds. The Pink and White Terraces on Lake Rotomahana were a huge tourist attraction in the 1870's and 1880's. Early tourists from all over the world came to this village to take guided tours to the terraces. Sadly they were destroyed and buried in... More 

Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
424 reviews
142 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The story behind the burying of the village when Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886 is a tragic one, but very well told. There's excellent interpretation in the museum in the visitor centre, and along the track as you wander through the village. There's a cafe on site, so it offers everything for the traveller.

Helpful?
Thank Rick M
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

We are pleased that you found the displays in the museum and park informative and enjoyed your visit. The cafe has a history as a Tea House where Devonshire Teas have been the signature dish for decades. Thank you for your commending review of the Buried Village, it's much appreciated. More 

Palmerston North, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

If it wasn't for the written commentaries around the place describing what we were looking at it would be a fizzer. Something needs to be done to enhance the place. Looking at mounds of grass and trying to visualise the whare or hotel that stood there just doesn't cut it I'm afraid. The people were very friendly but...

Helpful?
Thank ew_wright
Pam M, General Manager at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, responded to this review

I'm sorry to hear that your expectations of the Buried Village hadn't been quite met. The whares and European houses of Te Wairoa had been built from natural materials that deteriorated quickly after the Tarawera eruption when the area was deserted by the former residents. The excavations show the original floor levels of the houses and in particular the level... More 

Travellers who viewed Buried Village of Te Wairoa also viewed

Rotorua, Rotorua District
Rotorua, Rotorua District
 

Been to Buried Village of Te Wairoa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Buried Village of Te Wairoa staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?